Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) refers to a large group of bacteria, rather then a single strain, that produce lactic acid as a by-product of digesting their food source. LAB are ubiquitous microorganisms (MO) that are beneficial to you, your animals, and your soil. LAB are widespread in nature and are beneficial probiotics in our digestive systems. They are in the air all around us. They are also among the most important groups of MO used in food fermentation. People make yogurt, cheese, sour cream, olives, and sauerkraut with these bacteria.
Wanna make some? (skip to the end for quick recipe)
First we will take 450 ml of water and warm it just slightly above room temp.
While that is warming measure out a cup or two of organic rice, quinoa, barley, rye, any complex source of carbohydrates and place it in a jar with a lid so you can shake it.
Pour the warm water in with the rice and shake it for about 5 minutes. This is how we will collect food for the bacteria.
Strain this and put it into a clean jar with a coffee filter or something breathable strapped over the top so it can breathe and attract our bacteria.
Leave this jar somewhere about room temp and out of direct sunlight (in the shade of your garden, on your counter top) for 2-5 days.
After a few days you will see a separation
The top layer is floating carbs and possibly some molds left over from fermenting.
The middle layer is the Lactic Acid and other Bacteria.
The bottom layer is starch, a leftover by-product.
Extract the middle layer with a syringe, siphon, or turkey baster, whatever works as long as you dont get the top or bottom layer. i used 450ml so i can leave the extra 50ml so i dont get anything in my LAB but it doesn’t matter much as you will be straining it in a few days.
Now with the 400ml of LAB.
Take this and pour 4000ml/1gal of organic whole milk (3%) in with it. you can use goat milk, cows milk, or breast milk. Make sure its organic and as fresh as you can find.
The milk is used for the high lactose content to dissuade other microbes and leaving the LAB to dominate.
Leave about a quarter of whatever jar you are using full of air to make sure it doesn’t spill then sprinkle wheat bran on it to keep it anaerobic then cover it loosely and put it in the shade or on the counter again for 2-5 days.
When this separates you will notice a big curd on top of the LAB. This is Carbohydrates, protein, fat, and some beneficial bacteria. Below is the whey and lacto that we are after.
Extract the middle layer with a siphon, syringe or whatever. I usually just strain it all in a mesh strainer then strain it once more with coffee filters or something to get the small stuff out.
The leftover curd is super beneficial to everyone. mix some with garlic and curry powder for a nice Indian snack or feed it to your animals, worms, and soil. No wasting here!
Now you want to mix the LAB with a food source 1:1. I like to use organic black strap molasses, but organic brown sugar will do also. ( ex. 1 Liter LAB : 1 Kilo Molasses)
Store this LABS (Lactic Acid Bacteria Serum) in preferably glass jars filled to the top with little to no air (plastic works but i use old kombucha bottles… and the woman told me i shouldn’t keep then XD) in the fridge (she doesn’t like that either)
This stuff will keep for about a year in the fridge with food and about 6 months without food.
How to use LABS
Mix this at a ratio of 1:20 LABS:water
you can also use compost tea, fermented pant juice, or and organic tea type nutrient for an extra boost.
mix LABS with wheat bran and dry it for homemade bokashi that works better and saves you a bunch of cash.
Also you can mix it with water and use it as a deodorant for those sweaty balls after working in the garden all day (cant say she likes that either).
Or put some in your animals water to get rid of that stinky, been in the garbage all night dog breath.
Use it to clear clogged drains from your woman shaving herself in the shower all the time.
Spray it on animal bedding to keep your farm and/or home smelling clean
Here is an example recipe!
100ml rice wash fermented then siphoned.
mix with 1000ml whole organic milk.
Siphon middle layer and feed top curd to animals, plants and worms.
Mix middle layer 1:1 with organic molasses.
Store in fridge for up to a year in full glass jars
I hope you enjoy my write up on Lactic acid bacteria.
Ill do more write ups on Korean natural farming for you guys for sure:)
I learned lot of this from the university of hawaii and the unconventional farmer!